BC SPCA asks public to remove bird feeders due to avian influenza outbreak

BC SPCA asks public to remove bird feeders due to avian influenza outbreak

The presence of a hugely pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) has been verified in Canada, with conditions spreading quickly across the country and verified detections in B.C. The BC SPCA is asking the public to quickly take away yard fowl feeders and empty hen baths to reduce the spread of the sickness.

Wild birds enjoy a crucial function in the distribute of HPAI. Despite the fact that waterfowl (such as ducks, geese and gulls) and raptors (eagles, hawks and owls) are maximum possibility, avian influenza viruses can infect all avian species. The virus is shed by contaminated birds by means of feces and respiratory secretions and is very resilient – the virus can survive in the surroundings for many months and keep on to infect other birds!

Chicken feeders aid the unfold of the condition by encouraging unnatural congregations of birds and attracting other wildlife which includes predators and rodents. Fallen seed is also an particularly negative supply of disease – when birds feed from the floor, they are also uncovered to droppings that accumulate underneath a feeder. The existence of fowl feeders and baths can also raise the threat of transmitting the virus among nearby animals like backyard chickens or turkeys.

Red-winged blackbird at a bird feeder
Picture credit rating: Jessie McFarland

Avian influenza – or “bird flu” – is a virus that can impact quite a few distinctive species of birds. This features farm animals like chickens and turkeys, but can also have an impact on pets and wild birds. The H5N1 strain is deemed very pathogenic, resulting in serious sickness and dying in birds.

On unusual instances, this virus can induce disease in people that have close speak to with contaminated birds, or greatly contaminated areas. We have to have to do every little thing we can to prevent this virus in its tracks!

Grosbeak bird sits at bottom of bird feeder
Photograph credit rating: Stephanie Watson

Enable control this serious illness by removing your chook feeders and emptying bird baths as very well as monitoring for any indications of unwell birds in your location. Sick birds may perhaps seem lethargic, unusually “fluffed up”, have nasal discharge, coughing and/or sneezing, diarrhea, or have excessively watery eyes or inflammation of the head, neck and eyes. Speak to the BC SPCA at 1-855-622-7722 for assistance about unwell birds or for aid discovering your regional wildlife rehabilitation centre.

Report sightings of unwell or useless wild birds to the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative (CWHC) utilizing their on line reporting instrument or at 1-800-567-2033. If the report is assessed to demand more investigation, a biologist may well retrieve the carcass for even further tests. You should do not convey deceased birds to a wildlife rehabilitation centre or veterinary clinic as they will not be able to test for the disorder.


The BC SPCA endorses only supplying chicken feeders in winter amongst October and March. In the spring and summertime months, there is tons of natural foodstuff for birds. Get the info on backyard chicken feeding.

Hummingbird feeders are not without the need of chance but pose the most affordable threat due to the fact they are species-certain and have a much more constrained group of birds visiting them. However, this is a very good reminder to regularly improve the nectar in and clear hummingbird feeders to avoid fatal fungal outbreaks. Learn how and when to change the hummingbird nectar alternative, and how to cleanse your hummingbird feeder to maintain these stunning birds nutritious and protected. And bear in mind, if you see sick birds at your feeder, just take it down right absent!